About Brothers After All

Thank you for taking some time to surf 'Brothers After All'. My name is Sean Schmidt, although some folks know me as Sustainable Sean. I appreciate your time and would enjoy any feedback you might have on any of the blog posts you find here.

I've lived in Seattle since 1990 after having grown up on a farm in Nebraska until age seven and then spending the rest of my school years in Steilacoom, a small town in Washington. I was lucky enough to spend my summers in Nebraska until I was 18 which is where my Grandma Rosie taught me my first lessons in respecting people, nature, and Indian ways of thinking, being, and doing. Later, as the son of one of the first female zoological park administrators, Ingrid Schmidt, I learned first-hand about the importance and responsibility we all have in preserving biological and cultural diversity.

Brothers After All is inspired by a speech given by Chief Seattle in which he elegantly suggested that the white man and Native Peoples ultimately share a common destiny and that in the end, the white man may find that we are "brothers after all".

Without question, the Western Worldview has negatively affected Indigenous Peoples around the world for centuries and continues to so today. The amount and breadth of this impact is still being measured, is still taking place in many ways, and is only slowly being resolved and repaired. On the positive side, the cultural traditions, stories, and values of Indigenous Peoples around the world that did survive Western impacts are now experiencing a renaisance. Nevertheless, great challenges and opportunities still lie ahead for Indigenous Peoples around the world. As I mentioned above, given the current state of social, environmental, and economic state of affairs that the Western worldview has produced, it is now clear that the Western worldview has much to learn from Indigenous wisdom and ways and there are some signs that this is beginning to happen.

Although I think the realization of Chief Seattle's wisdom is still a long way off, I do believe that the Western worldview is finally beginning to understand that Indigenous ways of thinking, being, and doing have a great deal to offer and can inform and enrich the way we connect with each other and the places we live in much more meaningful ways. As I progress in my own journey to learn about and integrate Indigenous ways of thinking, being, and doing into my own worldview, I hope that by sharing my experiences and stories in Brothers After All that others will be informed and inspired to do so as well.

Thus, I have three major hopes with Brothers After All:

1. My first hope is to collect and share - with permission - indigenous wisdom and ways from around the world that inform the Western worldview to help us all reconnect with each other and our natural environment in meaningful ways...something that was lost long ago from the Western worldview and today is becoming more and more difficult regain in our fast-paced, modern times. You will find these entries under the label Wise Ways.

2. My second hope is to collect and share signs that the Western worldview is actually learning from the the Indigenous worldview. You will find these entries under the label Road Signs.

3. Finally, I hope to collect and share inspiring stories of Indigenous individuals who are walking in both worldviews. These are individuals that remain very much oriented in their own Indigenous culture and worldview but also have flourished within the Western worldview and in doing so both introduce the Indigenous worldview to many others, as well as enrich and expand the Western worldview. You will find these entries under the label Walking in Two Worlds.

That said, I want to be very clear that I am in no way - and do not claim to be - an expert in Indigenous ways of thinking, being and doing. Nor do I claim to speak for Indigenous peoples in any way. The experiences, stories, and learnings I write about on this blog are simply that...my own experiences, stories, and learnings. Although I hope that Brothers After All does inspire others to learn more about Indigenous ways of thinking, being, and doing, I want to share my experiences, stories, and learnings in a good way by first and foremost, respecting and honoring the Indigenous people and cultures I write about...I kindly ask my readers to do the same.

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